Help Save Buildings

Sadly, a countless number of historic properties have been allowed to deteriorate or disappear and a number of cultural opportunities have been overlooked. For example:

  • The Attic Building in Ord finally crumbled from demolition by neglect by an absentee landlord. City government was powerless because of a lack of tools to prevent the situation. A similar situation occurred when a bank in Fairbury also crumbled from the neglect of an absentee landlord some years earlier. Several buildings on the main street of Indianola have deteriorated and must be removed for safety reasons.
  • Rural schools and grain elevators are burned down for fire department training because local governments are unfamiliar with adaptive re-use
  • The state Department of Environmental Quality succeeded in getting the Nebraska Legislature to pass a bill that allows them to give grants to communities that deconstruct vacant and abandoned buildings and recycle the building materials. Heritage Nebraska and the State Historic Preservation Office joined forces to add rules and regulations to that measure to control the wanton destruction of buildings.

FAQs

Alliance TheatreIf I know of a threatened building that ought to be saved, what do I do?
You have made an excellent choice by starting with this website. Heritage Nebraska works in partnership with the State Historic Preservation Office and other state agencies that may be of some help. It would also be wise for you to share your concerns with local or county government officials, a local historic preservation commission or society or a local nonprofit organization or other allies.

What happens next?
We will get as much information from you as we can and assign a field staffer to do a site visit. If you have pictures or other documentation that you could share, that would be helpful.

 

What do I expect from this site visit?
The field staffer will be able to evaluate the resource in context and develop a rapport with the community involved. By visiting with you and other interested parties, the staffer will be able to explore strategies and identify possible grounds for resolution.

What about intervention?
Once the issue has been thoroughly researched, the field staffer and organization leadership can begin outlining a strategy of engagement with the goal of saving the resource if it is deemed worthy.

What makes it worthy?
General criteria involve a series of questions: Is the resource significant? Is the threat real? Is there significant local concern to involve a viable local group? What are the prospects for a positive outcome? Would intervention offer benefits and opportunities?

How long is this going to take?
Each case is unique, but a general offering of information and a possible referral to another agency or resource, if warranted, should be made at the time of the initial call. Follow-up by mail or fax could be done with same or next day service. It may take up to a month to schedule a site visit and a meeting with constituents. If the issue is significant, but the threat is not imminent, a response time could be mutually established.